6 Tips on How to Use Research Activities to Enhance Customer Brand Experience
Companies are trying to listen to their consumers but if it’s a negative experience for the consumer and if you miss an opportunity to enhance brand experience and win repeat customers, then there’s a problem. Many companies approach consumer insights as a sideshow, something that’s low priority. And that is indeed a problem since surveys and other engagement activities are in fact an important point of contact, and where brands can strengthen their relationships with their customers.
Regardless of whether it’s a website, a product or a service, an integral part of implementing customer experience is to observe and learn from both your own customers and other players in the industry. Some advisers will say that this is not enough – you need to get out there and directly interact with people who might be interested in your brand or products as well. The easiest way to prevent any possible damage to your brand is simply by investing time into accessing what people must grumble about online, while also keeping quiet tabs on other potential problems that lie ahead when it comes down to the design and function of your brand. Remember the golden rule: if you can spot it, you can solve it!
A poor customer experience from your research activities will adversely affect your brand. The following tips can help you use research in your brand’s favor, rather than against it:
1. Focus on every interaction with the customer
What frustrates you? What makes you give up during the purchasing process? What deters you from being loyal to a brand or company? To achieve better UX, you must listen to your clients. How does this relate to your company or business owners? Understanding what annoys or hinders them when consuming the goods or services that your business offers is vitally important for maintaining a positive reputation and gaining their trust along the way (or retaining it if their a returning customer).
Companies need to not be stingy when it comes to investing in their customers. There’s more to marketing than pushing paper around. Brand loyalty begins with ensuring that all the teams involved with your audience have a positive reputation and are generating the results you are looking for. Brands know this best – which is where CMOs come in. They make sure that everything is going smoothly by requiring editorial management, marketing, and store managers adhere to very strict standards so as not to tarnish their reputation in any way. Top-notch brands would never allow print content marketing articles to appear improperly formatted or store signage be misspelled, or a LinkedIn ad written in an illegible font for example!
2. Adopt a more systematic approach rather than ad hoc
Sometimes survey questionnaires are cluttered and hard to read, but at times it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re looking for. For example, when a student is given the task of completing a questionnaire about the types of cars she likes versus other collections of vehicles (world records and superpowers).
Why are these surveys so time-consuming and boring? Because some companies treat customer feedback as an afterthought instead of part of their core business. A lot of businesses feel pressured to be able to justify the use of their insightful data. They feel like they need that data to meet with investors, generate ROI for stakeholders, or present themselves as a forward-thinking company during advertising campaigns among other things. The problem comes when many businesses outsource this important task and choose to hire agencies whenever they need them – which won’t be very often considering that providing regular insights is just not something most businesspeople want to do! It’s more convenient for them just become CEOs of their own work than go into the trenches, even if that means sacrificing helpful information.
3. Enhance your research team’s marketing skills
Your customer-facing teams are your brand’s opening act and the first impression your customers have of you. Your overall efficiency will have a major impact on whether they’re interested in returning to do business with you, so it’s important to have a set level of service that is used as a standard across all levels, and processes in place that can help maintain these great standards. So, what should this level of service include?
There are many things your company can do to prevent underperformance. For example, you can teach your employees all the right techniques and information that they need to know to successfully perform their jobs. The results of such a program will speak for themselves. Over 57% of businesses offer no training at all compared to 88% who focus on high-quality training.
When the marketing and research teams in any given company don’t talk to each other, the customer experience suffers. How is it that you are seeing the same snappy layout with the same type of content or voice in their advertisements in magazines? What about tailored and personalized content on your computer when you log into their website? All of this can be made possible by building up a marketing team with customer feedback groups so they are informed better as to what topics certain customers might be interested in learning more about. By broadening the skillset of these teams and by making sure they’re talking to one another, brands can ensure that information gathered with regards to research activities build trust within customer feedback groups – which will lead them to possibly share more in-depth opinions on their preferences without ever having to give a name or contact information!
4. Engage in research activities that reflect a consistent branding
While it’s certainly true that nowadays mobile phones are the primary medium used by consumers for much of their online activity it would seem to be important to recognize that just because someone is using their phone does not mean that they possess the same needs and capabilities as their counterparts who might use devices like desktops. We also understand how problematic it can be when companies send out surveys as part of an unwieldy survey that is far more difficult to complete in a timely way than is necessary. Beyond all of this, many companies tend not to think of how important a cohesive user experience really can be, and how surveys which are not linked with those portions of your business concerned with collections, customer relations, complaints and positive reviews tend not to serve the intended purpose – because they fail to attract enough responses!
Is there anything you can do to provide your customers and participants in your research with a more consistent experience? Follow branding 101. Whenever you ask for feedback, why should customers see something different than the website, loyalty program, or CRM system you have? The feedback process should be standardized more, and a common feedback platform should be used. Research activities should be consistent, just as they should in marketing.
5. Engage with your audience in a two-way conversation
Your market research should be a two-way business, not a one-way street. Customers have already responded to more than one of your surveys, but they weren’t given the chance to know what happened because of their participation. This can make them feel that you’re wasting their time and making them jump through hoops just for not much in return. A reputation like this is sure to break down the trust between you and your customers when you need them most! To avoid any breakdowns in trust when it comes to important projects like these, make sure that people who take part and provide valuable insight on how you can improve what you’re offering get rewarded for doing so!
A lot of hard work goes into creating the right brand experience for your customers. Don’t let bad research practices undo it! A bad focus group can send you on a wild-goose chase that can waste months, draining your budget and energy. How do you stop this? Hold every bit of research you do to the same quality standard that you apply to any other customer touch point — in other words, don’t lean on “gut feel”!
6. Understand the Experience on a Personal Level
Before diving into customer service, it’s important to make sure that your communications are as seamless as possible. Even if you might have the best product on the market, you’re not going to get very far with a terrible public relations plan. Your customers are always going to be clamoring for more information because they want what they think is best – so make sure that the appropriate steps are being taken to ensure everything goes smoothly after traveling down this road together.
Engage key leaders in becoming customers themselves, if possible, and immerse yourself in the customer experience. In reviewing processes and procedures objectively, it may not stand out as easy as understanding the experience on a personal level.
Do you want to know how to get the best research results? Then you must understand that the quality of research is only as good as the quality of the research activity. Review each of the activities involved in your research projects and make sure you’re not failing into any of the six research practices described in this blog.
For more details, you can reach us at www.philomathresearch.com. Thanks for reading!